A railway company, by definition, is an entity that operates a railway, a set of trains, or both. This type of company can be public or private.
The basic mission of any railway company is: "to provide rail transport services that meet economic and social interests". These services can be grouped into three large groups, namely:
long haul passengers
Metropolitan train passengers It must be taken into account that: in order to carry out its basic mission, a railway company must seek efficiency and effectiveness indices in the execution of services, which are persistent and allow not only their support, but also their expansion.
The following are some relevant historical facts relating to the railway companies. In this aspect, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the railway from the railway company that operates it, as in some countries there is no such distinction:
1804 - The first railway to operate with a steam locomotive was created, it was the Penydarren or "Pen-y-Darren", built and operated by Richard Trevithick, and used to transport iron between Merthyr Tydfil and Abercynon in Wales, a stretch of just over 15 km.
1825 - The first railway company, operating steam locomotives, the Stockton and Darlington Railway, was created.
1831 - Ireland's first railway company, the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, was created.
1851 - With the inauguration of the St. Petersburg - Moscow Railway, the probably oldest railway company is created, which from change to change remains in operation to this day, the Russian Railways.
1852 - The Companhia Central Peninsular dos Caminhos de Ferro de Portugal was created to operate the existing railway lines at the time.
1854 - The "Imperial Companhia de Navegação a Vapor e Estrada de Ferro de Petrópolis" was created to operate the first railroad in Brazil.
1938 - SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français), the French public national railway company, was created from an agreement between the French state and a group of private railway companies at the time.
1948 - British Railways was created, nationalizing the "big four": LNER, LMS, GWR and SR.
1971 - Amtrak, a federally owned North American state rail company, was created. With the objective of keeping one of the largest railroad networks in the world in operation, the US government has been contributing money, on a regular basis, to this company that has remained in deficit since its creation.
2015 - With the aim of facilitating the opening of the European rail sector to competition, SNCF created 3 different organizations: SNCF Réseau (responsible for managing the rail infrastructure), SNCF Mobilités (railway operator) and a third organization, simply named SNCF , responsible for the company's global strategy.
History in Brazil
The first railway in Brazil was the Estrada de Ferro Barão de Mauá, from 1854, and the railway company responsible for its operation was the "Imperial Companhia de Navegação a Vapor e Estrada de Ferro de Petrópolis". The Recife to São Francisco Railway, operated by the company "Recife and São Francisco Railway Company", and also the Central do Brasil Railway, managed by the "Companhia Estrada de Ferro D. Pedro II". another company of significant historical value: the "Brazil Railway Company", which only 10 years after its founding in 1906, already owned about 47% of the Brazilian railways, and its achievements are widely documented. Despite this, the Brazil Railway Company began to face problems from 1917 onwards. Its subsidiaries began to enter into bankruptcy and after some scandals involving administrative actions